Jedi Defender Image Database - TSC 010 R2D2
Sorry if I seem overly impressed with this R2, considering he is
essentially a slightly modified reprint (with some features removed even), but I'm sad to admit the only R2 I actually owned before this was the POTF2 Orange version! I drooled over reviews of the VOTC one when I saw it, so I'm pretty happy Hasbro has decided to reuse the sculpt.
That said, I'll try to consider the VOTC version vs. this version in my review.
Just like the VOTC, this R2 has near-perfect proportions; he's stubby, his dome is appropriately large, and the legs stick out about the right amount. He's nicly detailed, with nicely defined edges on all his panels and vents and such. The wheels on the feet come highly appreciated after years of owning a POTF2 figure, as they allow R2 to roll around on tables and such. The only downside to this is that when the third leg is removed, R2 has a little trouble standing properly without some work. The hole that remains when you remove the third leg looks okay, and it's large enough to approach movie accuracy on a certain level. I also love the seperate cords/hoses on his "feet"; they're very realistic and movie-accurate, far better than the ambiguous pair of straight lines seen on countless previous R2s.
This R2 sports a couple inaccuracies to the film in the form of these little lines at the top of his left leg, and I believe there were a few details missing somewhere on the legs as well, but I don't really mind these and never noticed anything wrong with them until I'd read it elsewhere and compared. This might irritate the avid R2 or astromech fan, but otherwise he looks pretty darn good. Another slight gaff is that this version of R2 (it's an error not present on the VOTC as far as I can tell) has an imperfectly met seam on his third leg, which means that on close inspection one half of the foot is lower than the other. Despite all this, though, I think he's the best-sculpted R2 Hasbro has produced, with only slight room for improvement.
The paint is very well-applied for the most part on my figure; the only application gripes I could find were a sloppy panel on the dome, a slight tendancy for the same blue paint to chip off if you aren't careful handling it, and a few missing details (the only ones I could really find in a brief photo comparison were a few spots around the "ankles"). The colors, however, are excellent, and I for one love the vacuum-metallized dome. I don't think R2's dome was usually quite this shiny, but it's very cool and realistic-looking, so I really find it hard to get too objective about it. R2's second, red eye is a pretty good color although it doesn't really look very bright (I believe that part had a light in the movie); the two little things to the lower left of the main eye are also very nicely painted, giving decent resemblance to what was seen in the movie (there were underdiscernable lighted moving patterns of some kind, I think).
The grime and dirt, the new feature on this R2 as opposed to the VOTC, is pretty good looking; it's noticeable but not overbearingly so. It works for the kind of grime R2 might've picked up on Hoth, but then again, he could also be strolling around Endor or Wayland, and he'd even be passable on Tatooine. He looks great for pretty much any occasion except, say, stuff like the Yavin IV ceremony (where he was sparkly clean). One thing I noticed, though, was that on the back, the grime looked sort of streaked/smeared on; I'm not sure how common this is, and it doesn't really look too bad, but on close inspection it looks like something licked R2 or something.
R2 still sports great articulation: rotating head, legs, and two ankles. His removeable third leg has no articulation. I know some other R2s featured an ankle joint on the third leg as well, but this setup works well enough to suit most purposes. The one objection is that R2's sensorscope raises when you turn the head; this makes it a little odd when you want to turn his head very far. You can turn it a little bit to one side or the other and still keep it down, but it's a little bit limiting.
This R2 isn't quite as nifty as VOTC R2 was, with his detachable arms and swappable panel; instead Hasbro opted to glue the closed door in place (it's pretty easy to find the edges where it's a seperate piece, but it's not really obnoxious-looking) and instead packed some other accessories. Remaining from VOTC R2 is the sensorscope, which is kind of cool but as I said can be restricting on the dome articulation, and the good ol' light-pipe eyeport (the center panel and his main eye are molded in clear plastic that catches light from above and makes the eye light up at certain angles). This feature is fun to play with, but not 100% movie accurate; again, I don't really mind and it doesn't really detract from the figure's look much as it's usually dark and the top panel doesn't look that different from the others on the dome.
As a suggestion, though, I'd really love to see an R2 where they did something with the second eye- maybe some reflective/irodescent paint, or if he were another electronic figure, an actual light there? It's kind of out in left field and nothing that really needs addressed, and he looks just fine without it, so I'm not complaining; just an idea.
Even though R2's card pictures and describes (in line with the sensorscope), and the wave is generally themed on Hoth/the Battle of Hoth, R2-D2 is packed with accessories from much later in the movie on Dagobah. I'm not complaining though, as these are cool little things and I don't own the X-Wing they were originally packaged with. What you get is a crate, a lantern, and Luke's tray of... well, they always looked like Fish Sticks to me. The tray and crate have removeable lids, which is nice detail for such. All of these are molded in gray plastic, and the lantern has some nicely applied bright yellow paint to make it look lighted. Luke's food, unfortunately, is the same color as the metal tray it comes on. Yum. My one complaint, though, is that while both of the other accessories mostly fit in the crate, the lid can't be closed on either of them! I know this stuff was spread out in the movie, but it would've been nice if the crate actually had a real function since it opens.
These accesories are nice, but I'd have preferred to see the VOTC accesories reprinted instead of a glued-on door and this stuff. Alas.
R2 also comes with the standard Saga Collection stuff; a gray stand molded with the Empire Strikes Back movie logo and the figure's name written on it, plus one of those random hologram figures. Unlike the other main character figures I've seen (Carbonite Han, Boussh's Bounty Chewie, etc.), this stand just sports the name "R2-D2" with no extension; not sure if that means Hasbro only plans to release one or just couldn't come up with more of a name, but at the moment it's actually kind of a good thing as it makes the stand versatile, and you could put any other R2 on it if you wished. However, there is one oddity to this stand; they just reprinted the same ESB stand mold included with other figures, meaning it has a peg. But wait! R2 has flat feet with wheels, not peg holes! Oops.
There's not much to say about the hologram figure as it's random to each figure; mine came with a Han Solo, which is unfortunate since the Boussh Leia I bought had a Han as well. This was also the only R2 available on the pegs of my store at the time (actually, it's the only one I've seen, but this is a Wal Mart in a small city we're talking about). Perhaps I'll give one of my Hans away, or paint one of them? These "little hologram dudes" aren't that impressive to me overall, though; the details are okay but they're still just little clear blue plastic guys that might or might not look cool on some level, and it seems like kind of a mediocre gimmick to me. Given a choice I'd rather the plastic/money be used on more accessories/sculpted parts, personally, but that's just my opinion.
The Saga Collection has some awesome packaging, combining an OTC-ish look (with the border and Star Wars logo resembling vintage packaging) with a nice big bubble and a little insert with a photo of the charachter and their name, much like the ROTS style. Combined with a rather large background picture designed to make it look like the figure is in that scene, this is some of the coolest packaging I've seen, and I really like it. The only parts I can really complain about are some occasionally poor-looking photos of the figures on the back, and the semi-cheesy description, but these are easily brushed aside.
In R2's case, they've taken a photo and doctored it, removing R2 from the picture and centering the figure where R2 would've been. This looks pretty good, with C3PO standing next to him looking down at him.
This is an awesome R2-D2 figure, in my book the second-best I know of. If you didn't get the VOTC you should try to get ahold of one of these, especially since he's $3-$4 down from the VOTC's original price and a larger number less for trying to find one on eBay now. If you do own a VOTC R2, this makes a good second for display and the grime allows him to fit in better for certain scenes.
Now, to get my hands on a ROTS (or maybe the new Saga Collection version) C3PO...
(Edited to fix a couple grammatical/spelling errors and to change a couple words for clarity)